Attn Marathon/Distance paddlers

Over the years I have been gradually building my daily limit endurance to cover alot of miles/hours in the boat seat. As much as 21 hours a day in a boat seat takes a bit to build up to and I feel like I have come a long way in refining skills and comfort.

One thing that I cant seem to get a grip on is the dreaded “swamp a$$”… I have tried different shorts/liners and seating material but it seems more “internal” if you know what I mean… Bike shorts with their chamois crotch are as good as I have found. Are there “pads” or powders that are helpful? What has worked for you as you rack up the hours that turn into days?

I leave for the Yukon up north in under a month and am looking to avoid days of misery down south…thanks for any tips!

no one?
no one experiences this but me?

hard to say
I know that ultra-long-distance runners sometimes relieve chaffing using silicone based lubricants - they are very very water resistant ( search for silicone personal lubricants, choose the site that looks most presentable)

Don’t bother with powders. There are two types - starch based, they will become a paste for growing stuff, and talc based - becomes fine polishing paste for your tender regions. When you stop paddling talc based powder ( say hypoalergenic baby powder) is a good way to control moisture.

Oh, have you considered going commando? Or wearing very loose garb ( think McHammer)

I have found that 12 hours is the cut off for avoiding really bad issues. But since you are going further. For my hands I use bandaid brand blister stick. It is like a tiny deoderant stick of a waxy substance that works amazingly well. For all chafing issues the key is to stay dry. But that is of course impossible. So I have found that support is necessary but loose shorts over that. The theory is that if everything tight it won’t rub. Also an ace bandage around the waist under any bands helps that waist rub area. Hope this helps. Wish I was paddling with you.

Ryan L.

ex officio
I work 8 to 10 hour days in95 degree weather hauling bouts at a canoe and kayak livery. I bought a pair of exofficio boxers and my world has changed forever. Give them a try.

for the replies, everyone. Gonna do another 90 miler before our trip so will try some of your suggestions

thin wool if you can find it
I’ve got sensitive skin and used to have damp rash issues even with single day bike trips and during the years I worked 10 hour shifts as a construction electrician in hot humid weather (under my tool belt). The best solution I found was an old pair of thin seamless merino wool tights from my XC skiing days, chopped off above the knees.

I’ve learned from testing dozens of fiber combinations in hiking socks and thermal base layers over 4 decades of outdoor exploits that no synthetic beats wool for dampness comfort. It seems to be the ONLY fiber that maintains it’s “spring” when soaked, keeping a micro ventilation and cushioning layer against your skin. And wool is famous for drying from the inside out from your body heat. You might have to get large women’s sizes (in wool tights) but most have lycra stretch in them anymore so they won’t contrict your vital parts.

I followed Freya Hoffmeister’s blog when she kayaked around Australia. She had such terrible trouble with fanny rot she posted grisly photos of the damage. She swore by silk clothing (and paddling commando as often as possible) and tried a variety of seat padding, but still had recurrent lesions, even in salt water. I’ve wondered if using a waterproof tanned sheepskin pad, sheared down to a half inch of so of nap, would help, similar to what they use to prevent bedsores in immobilized patients.

Another thing that helps (with the more “internal” as well as external problems) is those disposable “feminine hygiene” wipes, used several times a day to sweep off the microbes. You can get them in individual foil “purse packs”. Have always used them on extended backpacking and winter mountaineering trips. Disposal is a bit of a pain – usually just stash them in a ziplock – the anti-bacterial stuff in them keeps the collection from funkifying. I’ve tried baby wipes, but most of those are slimy with some sort of lubricant. If you are squeamish about purchasing “feminine” products, I think there may be a similar hemorrhoid wipe available.

Cheap vitamin D ointment helps once the microbes have gotten a toehold.

i have always found wool the best also, but didnt consider merino boxers or something along that line… love the idea